First Prize: Biju Boro
The Tyranny of Man: Stunned by the pinch of the tranquillising dart, exhausted and disoriented by the clamour of the mob, a ‘conflict’ leopard reluctantly slows its pace. On the outskirts of Guwahati city, Assam, the cat found itself in the eye of a storm, chased by angry locals and pursued by worried forest officials. This particular guldaar, was spared a death at the hands of the crowd, but across the country its kin are burned, bludgeoned and brutalised for crossing the invisible border into human territory. This one image evocatively captures the many faces of human-wildlife conflict in India – the bewildered animal, the outraged local community, the curious bystanders, and the struggling Forest Department, represented by the orange tail of the dart. This photograph enters our hall of fame for the intense, emotional churn that it inspires.
LOCATION: Jyotikuchi, Guwahati, Assam DETAILS: Camera: Nikon D40X, Lens: Sigma 70-300 mm. f/1.8, Shutter speed: 1/800 sec., Aperture: f/7.1, ISO 400, Focal length: 70 mm.